Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Broken trust, opportunity, or both? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=945)

esedkudiln 10-13-2009 11:23 AM

Broken trust, opportunity, or both?
Hello again,

I just registered, and my intro message is here: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=944.

I'm not new myself to polyamory (although I've never used the term), but I'm in a relationship at the moment in which polyamory hasn't been an issue. Or rather, hadn't been.

My fiancee (who lives in a different city) knows she has full freedom to explore her sexual desires with others. Until recently she had never used that freedom; in fact she said she wanted to be monogamous with me. Some two weeks ago, at a work-related meeting in a different continent, she was chatted up one evening by a stranger, and despite her intention to be monogamous with me, she chose to go to his hotel room and spent the night there.

She told me about it three days later when we talked on the phone. It wasn't a confession per se, and it was more prompted by me asking her questions than her wanting to tell me (although I don't think she would have kept it a secret). I think she was feeling a bit confused about it, and although I was surprised (and a bit confused myself), I told her that this is what freedom is about, that I'm not mad, and that I hope the sex was good.

When we met in person last week I hoped to hear more about it. After all, it turns me on to think of my fiancee sleeping with someone else. But she didn't really want to talk much at all. At one point she said, "I didn't do this for you and your pleasure; I did it for mine." And of course she's right. But that was also the end of the conversation, and the sex that followed wasn't exactly that great.

So here's the dilemma. My fiancee did something that wasn't against any rules we had set together. It was against her own "rule" or intention to remain monogamous with me. I'm not upset, but should I be? Would she have expected or wanted me to be upset? Is her (alcohol-induced) fling a bad omen for our relationship? How can I turn the negative sentiment into something positive?

Under normal circumstances these are questions she and I would perfectly be able to talk about. But job pressure means we have very little time to see each other or even talk to each other. And then there is what almost sounded like resentment in her comment that she did this for herself.

Any ideas? Should I be happy? Should I be worried?

MonoVCPHG 10-13-2009 01:16 PM

So if I am clear you are in an open relatiosnship, not a polyamorous one? Or are you in a mix? Meeting a stranger and having sex that night is not a typical polyamorous relationship.

Take care

esedkudiln 10-13-2009 01:57 PM

Hi Mono, thanks for your comment. I've learnt that debating definitional issues in lifestyle and sexual preferences isn't a terribly productive way of engaging in conversation, but this is what wikipedia has to say about it:

Some polyamorists consider 'polyamory' to be their philosophical orientation they believe themselves capable and desirous of multiple loves whereas 'open relationship' is used as a logistical description: that is, it is how their polyamory is expressed or implemented. They would say of themselves, for instance, "I am polyamorous; my primary partner and I have an open relationship (with the following ground rules)...."

While "open relationship" is sometimes used as a synonym for "polyamory" or "polyamorous relationship", these terms are generally differentiated. The "open" in "open relationship" usually refers to the sexual aspect of a non-closed relationship, whereas "polyamory" refers to the extension of a relationship by allowing bonds to form (which may be sexual or otherwise) as additional long term relationships. However, there is enough overlap between the two concepts that 'open relationship' is sometimes used as a catch-all substitute when speaking to people who may not be familiar with 'polyamory'.
Now, if you mean to say that open relationships don't fit your idea of polyamory, then that's something different. You then have to decide for yourself whether or not to consider me "at your level".

Sorry for being snarky here.

MonoVCPHG 10-13-2009 02:12 PM

No problem my friend..but to continue the snarkiness, by most definitions of poly including the very diverse one applied at the monthly poly meetings I attend, one night stands are not considered a poly act. I'll let others answer this as we both know we got off on the wrong foot and this is a place of positivity. sorry to ruffle your feathers.

Take care

NeonKaos 10-13-2009 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by esedkudiln (Post 8823)

Now, if you mean to say that open relationships don't fit your idea of polyamory, then that's something different. You then have to decide for yourself whether or not to consider me "at your level".

Sorry for being snarky here.

The way I have understood it to be used on this forum is that in an "open" relationship, partners can do whatever, whenever, and with whoever, and may or may not agree to disclose what they do AFTER the fact, but do not need knowledge/consent from the original partner BEFORE the fact.

In a "poly" relationship, it's all about disclosure and agreement BEFORE DURING and AFTER one of the partners starts seeing someone else.

This is not semantic gymnastics, and it is not "snarky", and it doesn't mean you are "not on my level". It is plain English. If you don't agree with it, don't do it. But it sounds like what you (the OP) have with your fiancee is "open relationship".

I assume you both practice safe sex. Not that it's really any of my business.

redpepper 10-13-2009 08:11 PM

Yes its true that some people call themselves poly when they are infact not in it for the "love." The "amory" part of polyamory is "love." I don't know what wiki definiton you got, or whatever, but a one night stand whilst drunk is just a one night stand not polyamory. If you came on here and said she had fallen in love with a guy and wanted to pursue a deep meaningful, boyfriend thing with him then THAT would be poly. Sorry, this was an act, out of the result of your open relationship.

To the points raised...

It sounds to me like girlfriend is having some feelings about the whole night that she isn't expressing. She said she wants to be monogamous with you and then sleeps with someone. That would confuse and make me feel un-pure in some way and deceitful irregardless of what you think and want in a relationship.

Perhaps your wanting to know details pushed uncomfortable feelings to the forefront of her mind. Getting drunk and fucking a stranger in their hotel room can do some stuff to a persons psyche to begin with. Negative stuff like negative body image, feelings of lack of self control and feelings of being used. Who knows what really happened but she could of not used protection, could of had her body damaged, could of done things or been done to in ways she didn't feel comfortable. It could of been a date rape situation that she is not fully aware of as she was drunk. If you are not having issues then I suggest you put your turn-ons aside and support her with this in mind. Perhaps you need to look at this not in terms of "should I be feeling something" but "what is she feeling?"

I don't know what you have said in your intro, but I am finding myself wondering what "poly" as you have called it... means to you? Do you have one night stands with drunk strangers? If so, she could be acting out in some way towards that.

LovingRadiance 10-13-2009 10:22 PM

First-my understanding of polyamory is the same as the others have said.

THAT SAID-we all get places by different routes and hell if I have a right to judge anyone on how they get to a polyamory relationship in consideration of the off again on again lying for 9 years in my marriage to get to where we are now.

SO-it sounds to me like a communication issue.
If you really want to truly communicate (versus talk) the key is as follows:

Connect FIRST then contemplate and correct each other and self as necessary.

Connect means FIRST you have to reconfirm for her that you care about HER needs and HER feelings and that you are interested in HER. Sounds a little one sided-but she's not on here-or I would say it to both of you. ;)

Since you are the one saying you are trying :) I suggest sending her a text, email or letter that says something along the lines of "hey (term of endearment here) I think I got off on the wrong foot with you. I just want you to know I love you and I'm here. If there is anything specific you want to talk about (or specifically do not want to talk about) please let me know. I love you and look forward to our next conversation!"

Then see what happens.

If she opens the conversation great. If not-work on showing her that you are interested in WHATEVER she wants to talk about.

I know for me sometimes Maca wants to drop into the "deep water" and I'm like "UH are you SERIOUS?" I need time to "warm up" and feel safe and comfortable to get into the deep stuff.

Try not to be the one to bring it up-just let conversation flow to deeper, more meaningful topics and see if she doesn't bring it up. Sometimes if a person can bring it up themselves it doesn't feel so much like they are on the spot and so they don't get so defensive.

Overall-to your questions-I would look at this as a chance to build and improve your relationship, not as a "bad sign". There are a LOT of "bad signs" on the road to enlightenment, because we all trip and fall on our face sometime.

esedkudiln 10-14-2009 11:23 AM

Hello again. Let's not go into a discussion on the semantics of poly vs open relationship, but I don't like the suggestion I cherry-picked wikipedia definitions to fit my ideas of what poly is. In fact I don't have particularly dogmatic ideas about it, while some of you do, or so it seems. So who am I to deny you those ideas? I was just hoping for a welcoming forum to exchange thoughts and ideas.

To those who did respond to the actual question, many thanks! Yes, communication. Definitely. And thinking of what she feels rather than what I feel. Hmm. It's a bit of a no-brainer but it's a good reminder. I will certainly not push the issue (and perhaps it's not that big an issue for her to start with), but whatever happens, I will listen and my love for her won't change.

Just to clarify, she explicitly said she wasn't drunk but had had two glasses of wine and a mojito, which lowered her inhibition levels. She knew what she was doing, it was not date-rape, and they used protection. I don't have any indication that she resents what happened or the other guy. But perhaps she resents the fact she hasn't been true to herself and her stated intention.

And of course, if this is the only one-night stand she will ever have in our relationship, then it has nothing to do with being poly. But the reason I thought this forum would be a good place to ask these questions is that I've been hoping she'd open up towards the possibility of seeing others. That's also why I wondered if this was an issue of broken trust, an opportunity or both. But I agree that this reflects of course my feelings, not hers.

By the way, what exactly "seeing others" means is something we'd have to explore together, but I know (from experience) that I won't be comfortable in a situation where I'm not the primary partner (call me selfish, insecure, whatever). My reading of polyamory is that full equality is not required for situations to be described as polyamorous, but then, some might differ.

Sorry to end with semantics again...

redpepper 10-14-2009 01:58 PM

Well it could be a matter of broken trust or an opportunity to open your relationship, or both. All beginning stages of poly. Time will tell I guess and you will make your own rules I'm sure. You seem to be good at that.

esedkudiln 10-14-2009 02:09 PM

Such a warm welcome, and such empathy. I seem to have intruded into a community that is less open than I had hoped, or than it claims to be. Or maybe it's just certain individuals.

I'm happy to play by the rules of this community, but does that include adopting one single interpretation of the scriptures - unquestioningly, without dissent or doubt? Surely not.

I seem to have upset you. Could you explain why?

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:52 PM.